I feel so naked!

Without my camera. I went out yesterday, planning to document all the Christmas trappings that came out during the night on Thanksgiving, (Christmas elves, apparently) but I forgot my camera. (I hear Christmas elves bite.)

As a result, this morning we get Buddy, eating. (Stay away from the cat, Christmas elves. I mean it. I’ll stomp you.) The floor was filled with crumbs and I didn’t want everyone to think I’m a messy housekeeper, because I’m not, so I experimented with edge blurring. Crumb-hiding abilities aside, I love the effect.

Buddy is my cat with cancer. My goal is to keep him fat. So far so good.



Believe me, I understand the need for a bargain, not just the desire, but the need, but still. Who would want to face shopping today? I just saw the picture of the crowd outside Macy’s on the front page of the Times. That place is hard to bear on a normal day! (But fun to walk through if you’re not there to shop, but just to sight-see.)

Lines at Penn Station. I went from this …


To this. The view in my brother’s front yard.


And back home to this. Tree sellers set up on various corners throughout the city. I was wondering where they were, and by the time I got home last night, they had arrived.


I’m Thankful!

I was going to list what I’m thankful for, but decided against it because I was afraid people would notice the things I don’t have in my life and think what a loser I am.

In a few hours I’ll be heading out to Penn Station, which the New York Times (or was it Gothamist?) has already informed me is going to be so bad I might want to consider getting hit by a truck instead. But it’s all in order to go out to LI to see my wonderful family and to be fed by said family.

I’ll be back with pictures of Penn Station and maybe my family. (I’m an inconsistent photographer when it comes to people and I have a rule about not posting pictures of people unless they look attractive, it’s a golden rule thing.)

And now, bags of leaves.

Yeah, I know. “What are you kidding me, this is what you’re showing us, bags of leaves??” I’ll try to be back with better. Either the hell of traveling in NYC or my pretty family. One or the other.


Read This Next

I helped out my friends Howard Mittelmark and Sandra Newman at their book event last night. Two things. One, Sandy can really read. Normally I hate book readings, unless it’s someone like David Sedaris, who is a performer as much as a writer and he’s funny. Sandy is like that. Her delivery was perfection, and she is hysterically funny.

Two, their book Read This Next is also hysterically funny. They always crack me up, but I didn’t expect this book to be that funny. It’s a book of suggestions of what book to read next. How funny can you be about that? Very, apparently.

Three. Okay, there’s a three. Their suggestions are great. For instance, because of them I read O Pioneers. I’d never read it before and it’s one of my top ten favorite books now. They’re also very anxious for everyone to read True Grit, which they say is wonderful and nothing like the John Wayne move. I haven’t gotten to that yet.

Howard is the guy in the grey pants, and Sandy is the one sitting down with her back to us, alas. (I didn’t get an in-focus picture of her.)


Time Warner Happy Ending

The Time Warner tech showed up right on time, tested everything, and everything, it turns out, had a problem. The box was bad, some coding back at the office was bad, something was wrong with the signal, there were some software issues, he also replaced the splitter, and the connection to the splitter, pretty much everything that could be swapped out was swapped out.

The result: the most beautiful picture I’ve ever had EVER. For this tv-loving fanatic (who really should get a life) I can’t tell you how thrilling this ridiculously great picture is. Also, the newer box addressed some long standing issues I’ve had with the guide, but that would be going into more detail than anyone but me would care about.

I am SO grateful to Time Warner employee Phil Blum, who saw my post and called me and then did whatever he did to call attention to my problem. I wish I had gotten this amazing tech’s name, because he didn’t leave until we went over every issue and I was satisfied that everything was working well. Poor guy. “What about this? And this? And this?” And Krystal who kept calling to let me know what was going on and who would be coming and when, and who followed up afterwards to make sure everything was okay.

I take back what I said about Time Warner having the worst customer service ever. Also, if you’re a Time Warner customer I suggest taking down this twitter name: @TWCableHelp. Whoever is responding there seems genuinely helpful. And this email: twcable.help@twcable.com. It worked for me.

Thank you Time Warner and Phil and everyone who helped me.

(The backstory to this post is in my 11/19 post below.)